Sellers' confidence lifts house prices

19 August 2003
Rising market confidence among homeowners has lifted house prices as sellers gain the upper hand, according to a new survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics).

Rics said that house prices in England and Wales had remained unchanged between June and July, ending months of falling prices and painting the institute's most upbeat picture of the housing market in months.

Around 32 per cent more surveyors expected the number of property sales to rise rather than fall over the next three months, up from 26 per cent in June, in a sign of renewed buying activity.

According to Rics, surveyors had expected sales to slow further in July due to the summer and school holidays, but in fact they saw prospects increase as fears of a housing crash ebbed.

"Earlier in the year, many people were accepting up to 10 per cent below the asking price for their properties, (but) our research seems to indicate that this situation is showing signs of change as buyers begin to come back into the market," Ian Perry of Rics explained.